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Pantellaria redirects here. For the brachiopod genus, see Pantellaria (brachiopod).
Pantelleria
—  Comune  —
Comune di Pantelleria
Panorama of Pantelleria

Coat of arms
Pantelleria is located in Italy
Pantelleria
Location of Pantelleria in Italy
Coordinates: 36°50′N 11°57′E / 36.833°N 11.95°E / 36.833; 11.95Coordinates: 36°50′N 11°57′E / 36.833°N 11.95°E / 36.833; 11.95
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province Trapani (TP)
Frazioni Balata dei Turchi, Buccuram, Bugeber, Campobello, Contrada Venedise, Cufurá, Gadir, Garitte Karuscia, Kamma, Karuscia, Khaddiuggia, Khamma di Fuori, Madonna delle Grazie, Martingana, Reckhale, San Michele, Santa Chiara, San Vito, Scauri, Scauri Basso, Sciuvechi, Sibà, Sopra Gadir, Tracino, Villaggio Tre Pietre
Government
 - Mayor Salvatore Gabriele
Area
 - Total 83 km2 (32 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)
 - Total 7,729
 - Density 93.1/km2 (241.2/sq mi)
 - Demonym Panteschi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 91017
Dialing code 0923
Patron saint St. Fortunatus
Website Official website

Pantelleria (Sicilian: Pantiddirìa), the ancient Cossyra, is an Italian island in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Sicily and just 70 km (43 mi) east of the Tunisian coast. Administratively Pantelleria is a comune belonging to the Sicilian province of Trapani.

Contents

Geography

Location of Pantelleria

The island of Pantelleria is constructed above a drowned continental rift in the Strait of Sicily and has been the locus of intensive volcano-tectonic activity. Two large Pleistocene calderas dominate the island, which contains numerous post-caldera lava domes and cinder cones and is the type locality for peralkaline rhyolitic rocks, pantellerites. The 15-km-long island is the emergent summit of a largely submarine edifice. The 6-km-wide Cinque Denti caldera, the youngest of the two calderas, formed about 45,000 years ago and contains the two post-caldera shield volcanoes of Monte Grande and Monte Gibele.[1] Holocene eruptions have constructed pumice cones, lava domes, and short, blocky lava flows.[2] Many Holocene vents are located on three sides of the uplifted Montagna Grande block on the SE side of the island. A submarine eruption in 1891 from a vent off the NW coast is the only confirmed historical activity.[3]

The island is fertile, but lacks fresh water. The principal town (pop. about 3,000) is on the north-west, upon the only harbour (only fit for small steamers), which is fortified. There was also a penal colony here. The island can be reached by ferries from Trapani, and lies close to the main route from east to west through the Mediterranean.

History

Archaeological evidence has unearthed dwellings and artifacts dated at 35,000 years ago.

The original population of Pantelleria did not come from Sicily, and was of Iberian or Ibero-Ligurian stock. After a considerable interval, during which the island probably remained uninhabited, the Carthaginians took possession of it (no doubt owing to its importance as a station on the way to Sicily) probably about the beginning of the 7th century BC, occupying as their acropolis the twin hill of San Marco and Santa Teresa, 2 km (1 mi) south of the town of Pantelleria. The town possesses considerable remains of walls made of rectangular blocks of masonry, and also of a number of cisterns. Punic tombs have also been discovered, and the votive terra-cottas of a small sanctuary of the Punic period were found near the north coast. The name "Pantelleria" means "Daughter of the Wind", which represents the strong winds that arise off the north coast of Africa.

The Romans occupied the island as the Fasti Triumphales record in 255 BC, lost it again the next year, and recovered it in 217 BC. Under the Empire it served as a place of banishment for prominent persons and members of the imperial family. The town enjoyed municipal rights.

In 700 the Christian population was annihilated by the Arabs, from whom the island was taken in 1123 by Roger of Sicily. In 1311 an Aragonese fleet, under the command of Lluís de Requesens, won a considerable victory here, and his family became princes of Pantelleria until 1553, when the town was sacked by the Turks.

Its capture was regarded as crucial to the Allied success in invading Sicily in 1943 because it allowed planes to be based in range of the larger island. Pantelleria was heavily bombarded in the days before the scheduled invasion by bombers and warships, and the garrison finally surrendered as the landing troops were approaching. The capture of Pantelleria was called Operation Corkscrew and it played a part as a vital base for Allied aircraft during Operation Husky. The United States Army Air Forces planned to capture the island as a test case for air power, so they intended to bombard it into submission entirely from the air.

One of the "Sesi" on Pantelleria.

Main sights

A Neolithic village was situated on the west coast, 3 km south-east of the harbour, with a rampart of small blocks of obsidian, about 7.5 m high, 10 m wide at the base, and 5 m at the top, upon the undefended eastern side: within it remains of huts were found, with pottery, tools of obsidian, and other artifacts. The objects discovered are in the museum at Syracuse.

To the south-east, in the district known as the Cunelie, are a large number of tombs, known as sesi, similar in character to the nuraghe of Sardinia, though of smaller size, consisting of round or elliptical towers with sepulchral chambers in them, built of rough blocks of lava. Fifty-seven of them can still be traced. The largest is an ellipse of about 18 by 20 m, but most of the sesi have a diameter of only 6 to 7.5 m. The identical character of the pottery found in the sesi with that found in the prehistoric village proves that the former are the tombs of the inhabitants of the latter.

Wine

Pantelleria is noted for its sweet wines, Moscato di Pantelleria and Moscato Passito di Pantelleria, both made from the local Zibibbo grape.

See also

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Italy : Sicily : Pantelleria

Pantelleria is an island lying between Sicily, Italy and Tunisia. Although Italian it is proud of its Arab influence. It has a very rich history and the main engineers of the islands gardens and architecture was the Arabic culture. However mixed the culture is, it is in this time a very Sicilian culture in every way. there is a great emphasis on the art of hospitality. It is becoming quite a chic destination. It is striking and hilly, with the countryside dotted with white Dammuso houses. There are no beaches - people swim off the black rocks.

The main centre is Pantelleria Town, along with the much smaller Scauri, Tracino & Kamma and Rekale.

The Piano Ghirlandia, Pantelleria
The Piano Ghirlandia, Pantelleria

Get in

By boat

Daily overnight ferries run from Trapani in Sicily, running more frequently alongside hydrofoils in Summer. See SIREMAR and Ustica Lines.

By plane

Planes fly in daily from Palermo and Trapani. See AirONEand Meridiana.

Direct Flights from Rome and Milan. A new agreement with the hotels on Pantelleria has created a long period of direct flights to Pantelleria from Rome and Milan. These flights are on big jets (300 seats or more), only on weekends, 3 or 4 times each weekend day. Usually AllItalia. Tel 0923 913 283 seems to be the only resource for booking these flights. April to October. This is very new.

Get around

By Bus

There is quite a good bus service around the island. See Pantelleria Council

By Moped

An excellent way to see the island is to hire a moped for a few days - it is small enough to do a circuit in 4 hours or so. Beware - there are only two petrol station on the island - both in Pantelleria Town.

  • The Specchio di Venere - a lake inside the crater of a former volcano.
  • The Sesi - black Neolithic funeral mounds.
  • The pretty seaside hamlet of Gadir and its thermal pools.
  • The pretty vineyards in the Piano Ghiraldia at the far (east) end of the island.

Do

Boat Tours. For a moderate fee, usually around Euro 35 per person, you can take a slow boat tour around the island. This can be very entertaining depending on who comes along. Usually there is abundant food and wine served on board, swimming stops and a photographic adventure of a very rich volcanic island. From the sea you can see the homes of Armani and many of Italy's most famous people.

Trekking. There are many maintained trails into the complex geology of Pantelleria. Each little region is very different and unique from all the others. For a small island, there is tremendous diversity to Pantelleria.

Thermal Pools and the Sauna Cave. There are many thermal pools on Pantelleria. One of the best places is a large natural sauna cave in the mountains near the region called Monestero. One of the most beautiful vistas on the island can be seen from here. There is also Santaria, a hot thermal pool inside a cave. This is according to legend the love nest of Calypso and Ulysses. All the thermal pools are free and maintained by the community members.

Buy

Art: There are two famous sculptors on the island. One is a local man, a Pantesce Native (Kaku). He has a shop near the old castle in the main village, Pantelleria. The other is a Native American who lives in Rekhale (Turtle Heart).

Ceramics of DiSimone. DiSimone is a very famous ceramics artist who atarted his career on Pantelleria. Now his work is sold in shops in many countries. He still has his "home" gallery on Pantelleria. Great objects for the household and fancy objects of ceramic art. Very colourful and vivid scenes of the traditional life of Pantelleria.

  • Il Cappero Via Roma. Excellent medium-priced food, very popular with the locals.
  • Zabib Porto di Scauri (+39) 0923916617 - Good restaurant, open only for dinner.

Drink

CiCCi's Bar. A favorite place in Pantelleria village, right near the central square. Generous snacks. Great atmosphere. Cicci is a force on Pantelleria and this bar has great ambience and personality. A must visit bar and cafe in the true Sicilian style.

Passito. You must drink the famous wine of Pantelleria, called Passito. Pantelleria is an island of farmers, not fishermen. The ancient wine is unique in all the world and the best Passito is generally only available locally. If you make friends with local people you can have the adventure of tasting home made Passito. Passito is a rich meditation wine, sometimes called a dessert wine. Passito and Capers are the island's two best known products.

  • Miryam Corso Umberto 1 (+39) 0923 911374. Modern, but functional, overlooking the harbour. Quite cheap out of season.
  • Cossyra Cuddie Rosse-Mursia (+39) 0923911154. About 3 km (2 miles) from Pantelleria port, this 3-star hotel has pleasant grounds,a pool, tennis courts and a private beach.
  • Albergo Miryam Hotel
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PANTELLERIA, or Pantalaria (ancient Cossyra 1), an island in the Mediterranean, 62 m. S. by W. of the south-western extremity of Sicily, and 44 m. E. of the African coast, belonging to the Sicilian province of Trapani. Pop. (Igor), 8683. It is entirely of volcanic origin, and about 45 sq. m. in area; the highest point, an extinct crater, is 2743 ft. above sea-level. Hot mineral springs and ebullitions of steam still testify to the presence of volcanic activity. The island is fertile, but lacks fresh water. The principal town (pop. about 3000) is on the north-west, upon the only harbour (only fit for small steamers), which is fortified. There is also a penal colony here. The island can be reached by steamer from Trapani, and lies close to the main route from east to west through the Mediterranean. In 1905 about 300,000 1 The name is Semitic, but its meaning is uncertain.

gallons of wine (mostly sweet wine), and 'goo tons of dried raisins, to the value of £34,720, were exported.

On the west coast, 2 m. south-east of the harbour, a neolithic village was situated, with a rampart of small blocks of obsidian, about 25 ft. high, 33 ft. wide at the base, and 16 at the top, upon the undefended eastern side: within it remains of huts were found, with pottery, tools of obsidian, &c. The objects discovered are in the museum at Syracuse. To the south-east, in the district known as the Cunelie, are a large number of tombs, known as sesi, similar in character to the nuraghi of Sardinia, though of smaller size, consisting of round or elliptical towers with sepulchral chambers in them, built of rough blocks of lava. Fifty-seven of them can still be traced. The largest is an ellipse of about 60 by 66 ft., but most of the sesi have a diameter of 20-25 ft. only. The identical character of the pottery found in the sesi with that found in the prehistoric village proves that the former are the tombs of the inhabitants of the latter. This population came from Africa, not from Sicily, and was of Iberian or Ibero-Ligurian stock. After a considerable interval, during which the island probably remained uninhabited, the Carthaginians took possession of it (no doubt owing to its importance as a station on the way to Sicily) probably about the beginning of the 7th century B.C., occupying as their acropolis the twin hill of San Marco and Sta Teresa, 1 m. south of the town of Pantelleria, where there are considerable remains of walls in rectangular blocks of masonry, and also of a number of cisterns. Punic tombs have also been discovered, and the votive terra-cottas of a small sanctuary of the Punic period were found near the north coast.

The Romans occupied the island as the Fasti Triumphales record in 255 B.C., lost it again the next year, and recovered it in 217 B.C. Under the Empire it served as a place of banishment for prominent persons and members of the imperial family. The town enjoyed municipal rights. In 700 the Christian population was annihilated by the Arabs, from whom the island was taken in 1123 by Roger of Sicily. In 1311 a Spanish fleet, under the command of Requesens, won a considerable victory here, and his family became princes of Pantelleria until 1553, when the town was sacked by the Turks.

See Orsi, "Pantelleria" (in Monumenti dei Lincei 1899, ix. 193-284). (T. As.)


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